- singular of cilia.
Origin of cilium
- Biology. minute hairlike organelles, identical in structure to flagella, that line the surfaces of certain cells and beat in rhythmic waves, providing locomotion to ciliate protozoans and moving liquids along internal epithelial tissue in animals.
- Anatomy. the eyelashes.
Origin of cilia
Examples from the Web for cilium
Each consists of a very slender curved filament, with a still finer filament, or cilium, arising from it on each side.An Elementary Text-book of the Microscope
John William Griffith
- any of the short thread-like projections on the surface of a cell, organism, etc, whose rhythmic beating causes movement of the organism or of the surrounding fluid
- the technical name for eyelash
- the plural of cilium
Word Origin and History for cilium
1715, from Latin cilia, plural of cilium "eyelid, eyelash," perhaps related to celare "to cover, hide," from PIE root *kel- "to conceal" (see cell), but words for this part of the face can be tricky (see brow). It sometimes is pluralized in English, which is an error. Related: Ciliated; ciliary; ciliate.
- A microscopic hairlike process extending from the surface of a cell or unicellular organism, capable of rhythmical motion, and acting with other such structures to cause the movement of the cell or of the surrounding medium.
- A tiny hairlike projection on the surface of some cells and microscopic organisms, especially protozoans. Cilia are capable of whipping motions and are used by some microorganisms, such as paramecia, for movement. Cilia lining the human respiratory tract act to remove foreign matter from air before it reaches the lungs.